Orangutan Research and Conservation Program - Tanjung Puting NationalPark
Web Site: http://www.orangutan.org
Director: Birute Galdikas
Kumai, Pangkalan Bun - Tromolpos 1, Central Kalimantan INDONESIA
Affiliations: Orangutan Foundation International; Orangutan Foundation Indonesia
Mission: Our mission is to support the conservation and the understanding of orangutans and their habitat, tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia, while caring for and rehabilitating ex-captive orangutans for release into the wild. In order to preserve forest ecosystems we empower local communities in Borneo through economic development and education initiatives. We raise awareness of orangutan and forest issues throughout the world through field research, publication of books, scientific reports, articles, and newsletters as well as lectures, conferences, events, and seminars.
The Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) was established in 1989 as a 501 (c)3 organization in the state of California by Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and a group of concerned scientists and lay people. Since its inception OFI has rescued and returned to the wild over 450 orangutans in Indonesian Borneo and has protected over one million acres of rainforest. OFI has worked with Indonesian government and local communities in Borneo to expand national parks, establish reserves, and buy forest from local people and communities in order to set up local protective forests. OFI supports the longest longitudinal study of any orangutan population in the wild at the Camp Leakey study area in Tanjung Puting National Park, a study that began in 1971 and has been continuous ever since. OFI also repatriated a number of smuggled orangutans back from Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.
In 1971 year Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas arrived in the Tanjung Puting Reserve in Indonesian Borneo. After 1 year she had set up Camp Leakey which houses the research of many students and scientists. Camp Leakey was once the rehabilitation center for ex-captive orangutans. Today only a few released into forests during the 1970s exist in that area. The rehabilitation center is located in a different area of the Tanjung Puting National Park. We currently have approximately 340 orangutans in the center.
The Tanjung Puting National Park is the largest and most diverse example of extensive coastal tropical heath and peat swamp forest which used to cover much of southern Borneo. This area is home to many lowland species and hosts over 220 species of birds, including hornbills and deep forest birds, two species of crocodiles, dozens of snakes and frogs, numerous threatened species, including the fortune-bringing and highly endangered "dragon" fish also known as the Arwana (bony-tongue). Among the most flamboyant of these animals are the many species of colorful birds, butterflies, and moths found in the Park.
For forty years Dr. Birute has studied and worked closely with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat. Today she is the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan. Her work with OFI has shined a light on the situation in this treasured part of Indonesia. As an organization we have various continuing projects to help serve our purpose.
We are actively controlling the Tanjung Puting reserve in order to prevent illegal logging and mining which destroy the natural habitat. (73% of the logging in Indonesia is illegal)
We are planting trees of differing species in the degraded areas of the reserve in order to expand and recreate the forest. (The current rate of forest loss is 6.2 million acres per year)
We are currently trying to raise money to buy land in order to protect it, rather than having it purchased/stolen and destroyed. The increase in palm oil use results in the massive clearing and burning of rainforests, in doing so, killing off species and habitat homes.
We are constantly funding and keeping up the research efforts at Camp Leakey.
Today, the situation facing wild orangutans is far more complicated than in 1971 when Dr. Galdikas first began. As a result of poaching and habitat destruction, orangutan populations are on the edge of extinction and could be completely gone within the next five to 10 years.
Principal Research Programs: Long-term behavioral and ecological studies of wild orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan Tengah, Central Indonesian Borneo
Training Opportunities: Orangutan Foundation International has volunteer opportunities available for active individuals who want to get their hands dirty and help save one of the earth's most bio-diverse areas.
• The volunteer program will take place at sites in Kalimantan Tengah (Central Indonesian Borneo) in the general vicinity of Pangkalan Bun.
• Volunteer projects will take place at one of the following sites: the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ), in the Dayak village of Pasir Panjang, Camp Leakey, Park Guard Posts, plant nursery facilities, as well as other sites to be determined. The projects for 2010 will not be confirmed until later in the year and will be specific to the needs at that time.
• Each volunteer team runs for a set period of approximately 20 days.
A Volunteer's Typical Daily Schedule:
8:00am Work Begins
12:00pm Lunch break
5:00pm Work ends, time to bathe
7:30pm Discussion of day's events and discussion of next day's work
9:00pm Bed (at volunteer's discretion)
*There will be opportunities to visit Camp Leakey and OFI's Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine during the 3 week program.
Information for this program and future volunteer/educational opportunities can be found at www.orangutan.org
Number of Staff: 200
Associated Field Sites: Contact person of Los Angeles OFI office:
310.820.4906 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 310.820.4906 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
824 S. Wellesley Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Supported Species: Pongo (orangutan), Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutan)
Last Updated: 2010-03-18
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